Our Brighton store manager Amy Smith guestblogs on the shop opening that took place recently.
When you think of Lucy & Yak I imagine the first words that come to mind are - ethical, colourful, sustainable and most of all...fun ! Now, take these words and imagine the challenge of converting them into a store.
My name is Amy and I had the fabulous pleasure of doing just that - and I have to tell you, I loved every minute of it. With the bare bones of a shop (bricks and mortar) and a rough idea, even the most hopeful of people will shudder at the idea of opening it ready for the public in three weeks time ... but we did it and I'd love to share with you how.
The plan in itself was relatively simple. Meeting with Lucy and Chris in store we knew that we wanted to keep it minimal and let the clothes speak for themselves. We wanted to use bamboo to create clothes rails and we also wanted a living room feel to steer away from the typical idea of a shop where the customers and staff were separated by a till thus creating a barrier of sorts. I have to say I was immediately excited by this challenge and got straight to work by sketching (very roughly) exactly what Lucy and Chris wanted.
When you're doing a project like this, I absolutely cannot emphasise the importance of a timeline and a plan/list - I live by these. Anyone that knows me will eco this (Lucy & Yak dream shopping list..anyone else?)
So we had the plan down and our next challenge was - how do you make it ethical? Because Lucy & Yak. Sourcing sustainable materials isn't hard so long as you do your research and stay true to your vision. We were phenomenally lucky that our natural and untreated bamboo came from a local company that were fabulous from start to finish. We used hemp rope for two reasons ; it's strength and it's heritage. Hemp rope is exceptionally strong and it doesn't rot. This is why it has a lavish history at sea in ships - when you come to Brighton and you want to pay homage to your area, it's almost unavoidable that you include the sea.
The local ceiling hooks were forged by our local iron monger and the curtains in the changing room were made by yours truly (yes, this may have been manically done the evening before opening) but we made them by recycling the fabric that was the window covers - nothing went to waste in this process. The mirror in our changing room was designed and painted by our sales assistant Sophie who is an artist and a fabulous one at that, it was a pleasure to see her work and the end result speaks for itself! Head to our insta page to see that mirror in action on the regular basis.
The last night before opening was mad but it was a glorious plethora of everyone working together for a fabulous cause and what a joyous feeling it was to close the doors that night knowing that in the morning, it was ready for our beautiful Brighton customers. When we opened it was such a delight to see the number of customers that came through the door to see us and a special thank you to those that travelled a distance and those who followed us live on twitter. We will be doing more live tweeting during events in the summer btw.
Did you come and see us back in April when we opened our first store? If you did, I invite you to review us on Google (just google Lucy & Yak Brighton and choose ''write a review'' to let us know what part you enjoyed the most.
We've now been open 2 months and everything is going amazing! We've had so much support from you guys! Thanks so much to everyone that has been to see us so far.
We are looking forward to seeing more of you in store throughout the summer - keep the eyes peeled for Brighton events, gatherings and other fun things! Head to our Facebook page to keep up-to-date with all the exciting events we are planning throughout summer 2019.